It seems like the Christmas season starts earlier each year, but I’m happy to say this weekend truly begins the Christmas season with Advent beginning this Sunday, December 3. Advent is the four week period preceding Christmas observed by many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus.
Area churches and some homes decorate with an advent wreath constructed of a circle of evergreen branches with four candles representing the four weeks of Advent. Traditionally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but four white candles can be used.
Each week a candle is lit; weeks one, two and four are purple and symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices, as well as goods works undertaken. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, also known as Gaudete Sunday, in symbolic of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.
Wednesday, December 6 is St. Nicholas Day when children either receive small treats; such as candy, apples, money or a lump of coal. In some countries stockings or put out on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. Other countries place their shoes or a bowl for St. Nick to fill.
St. Nicholas was born in Turkey during the third century. His parents were wealthy and raised him to be a devout Christian. While Nicholas was still young his parents died in an epidemic. Obeying the words of his faith to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his entire inheritance giving assistance to the needy, sick and suffering.
St. Nicholas is well known throughout the world and has been named the patron saint of more causes than any other saint. In the West he is widely known as the protector of children with numerous stories of rescuing children from harm and returning them into the care of their families. St. Nicholas is also the patron saint of sailors and ships as many look to him for protection from storms and a safe return from the sea. Nicholas is also the patron saint of prisoners and others wrongly condemned.
Undoubtedly the saint is recognized as a powerful intercessor for special protection and justice for people all over the world, in many different churches and countries.
Saints are Spiritual Super Heroes. They are the real Justice League and Avengers capable of inspiring us to become our best just in time for Christmas, or should I say, “in the nick of time.”
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. the Versailles High School performs “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Performing Arts Center. Also tonight and Saturday evening the Vets Club has open to the public karaoke beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday from 8:30 – 12:30 p.m. there is a Breakfast with Santa Claus at the Versailles K of C Hall. Also beginning this Sunday at the Webster United Methodist Church there will be a five-part Advent Series on the “Message for Living.” This Sunday’s Advent talk is entitled “What You Have to Look Forward to.”
Don’t forget there is an “open to the public” Bid Euchre Tournament at the Versailles Vets Club every Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. Weekly winners are posted on Facebook.
Birthday wishes to Sawyer Schmitmeyer, Scarlet Otte, Justin Lester, Phyllis Davis, Jackie Briscoe, Julie Francis, MacKenzie Bertke, David Bey, Rosemary Paulus, Jenny Crandall, Bill Klipstine, Scott Holzapfel, Alayna Bartram, Joan Epperly, John Wehneman, Mary Wehneman, Deb Blakeley, Nathan Epperly, Broderick Garlinger, Sharon Fourman, Fr. Angelo Caserta (99), Adam Grilliot, Tangie Wood, Dr. Jon Kremer, T.J. Barga, Kim Cooper, Jenny Harris, Julie Homan, Karen Schultz, Jennifer Rinderle, Michelle
Dircksen, Kathy Wilker, Tina Jones, Marcia Schlechty, Bernadette Siekman, Mary Beth Erisman, Jennifer Cheeseman, Kim Ware, Jackie Swabb, Peggy Jasenski, Madonna Cohee, Scott Garrison, Angie Savage, Dawn Luthman, Ron Gehret and Andy Monnin as their birthdays approach. Wedding wishes to Dee and Tom Carrington (9), Amy and Bryan Bartram (13), Jeanette and Mark Barga (35), Jane and Louie Huber (51), and Diane and Larry Prenger (51).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Beverly Brown, Denny Subler, Wanda Romie, Jack Borgerding, Tyler DeMange, Kathy Magoto, Kim Smith, Bob Condon, Paul Marshal, Ed Bulcher, Jane Huber, Aiden Meyer, Sylvester Meyer, Earl Gigandet, Madison Berger, Tony Gehret, Martha Treon, Terry and Donna Black, Tim Bayless, Jim and Pooch Barga, Chris Apple, Ruth Wirrig, Wilma Heiby, Carl DeMange, Miriam and John Harman, Jack Monnin, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Denny Grilliot, Virginia Smith, John Subler, Anabelle Subler, Connie (Baltes) Lechleiter, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard, Samantha Smith and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Lois Marshal Drees (78), Bernadette Shawler (94), also remembering the lives of Rachelle Cordonnier, Jon Agne, Donald D’Innocenzo, Doug Thornhill, Pete Albers, William Baltes, Dr. Richard Paulus, Irene Goettemoeller, Drucella Schlamb, Scott Dircksen, Robert Gump, Zac Richard, Betty Mayo, Tim Shearer, Bob Grilliot, Elmer Hemmelgarn, Colleen and Bob Grube, Kathryn Dross, Agnes Francis, Ralph Lavy, Ruth Hesson, Martha Kremer, Doris Burns, Opal Kueterman, Don Berger, Delpha Unger, Florence Gigandet, Dan Kissinger, Richard Francis, Carolyn Brewer, and all those not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their recent passing nears.
“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” ~St. Nicholas
“Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem. Advent increases our hope, a hope which does not disappoint” ~Pope Francis
“The season of Advent allows us to open our hearts to the knowledge and joy of Christmas” ~S. Amelia